Monday, January 31, 2011

Meet Gary W. Moore, Author of Hey Buddy

A guest post by Jennifer Slattery.

Gary W. Moore has been called, "America's Storyteller!" He is a multi-published author, sought after public speaker and musician. As we near the 52nd anniversary of Buddy Holly's death, Gary Moore joins us to talk about his latest release, Hey Buddy, what motivated him to write it and his relationship with God.

What reviewers are saying:

"Hey Buddy is a page-turning pursuit of Buddy Holly’s legacy and his impact on others in and out of the music industry."
— James Riordan, New York Times bestselling author of Break on Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison

"Gary Moore’s Hey Buddy is a touching narrative that chronicles his fascinating journey of discovery into the life and music of Buddy Holly through the spirited performances of John Mueller while endeavoring to explain the profound impact Buddy’s musical legacy continues to have more than fifty years after his tragic demise.”
— Jacqueline A. Bober, Curator, The Buddy Holly Center

Hey Buddy: In Pursuit of Buddy Holly, My New Buddy John, and My Lost Decade of Music

He was just a kid from Lubbock, Texas, sporting black horn-rimmed glasses, blue jeans, a white T-shirt, white socks, and loafers. And he changed the course of music history. Now, more than five decades after his tragic death, Buddy Holly still affects lives today around the world.

Gary W. Moore, the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of Playing with the Enemy, was never confused with real Buddy Holly fans. Gary was not a fan of rock music or what he believed it represented in our culture. He was familiar with Buddy's name and thought he was dead, but he couldn't name a single song Buddy had written or performed. In a single evening all that changed when the late great Buddy Holly reached out from a stage in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and seized Gary's heart and soul through a song. Not a song written or performed by Buddy, but a song about Buddy performed by musician extraordinaire John Mueller. Even Buddy's closest friends say John is Buddy reincarnated, and his resemblance and music will take your breath away.

Hey Buddy: In Pursuit of Buddy Holly, My New Buddy John, and My Lost Decade of Music is a warm and intimate chronicle of the author's personal journey to discover more about Buddy himself, his music, his influence, and the times in which he lived. Join Gary as he meets Buddy's personal friends and family members, celebrities, and everyday Buddy enthusiasts. Their unique and intimate stories will make you laugh, smile, cry, and think, all the while wondering "what if." What if Buddy had lived instead of perished in that terrible plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa, on that winter night in 1959? What if Buddy had continued to write music into the 1960s and 70s? What if . . .


Gary W. Moore is known worldwide as an inspirational and motivational speaker of choice, successful entrepreneur, accomplished musician, and award-winning and critically acclaimed author.

As author of Playing with the Enemy, Gary tells the story of his father, Gene Moore and his remarkable life in baseball and war. Playing with the Enemy is inspiring readers around the globe and will soon be a major motion picture. Gary is also a contributing author to the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series and author of three upcoming books, Hey Buddy: In Pursuit of Buddy Holly, My New Buddy John, and My Lost Decade of Music; Brimstone: The Dee Harper Story; and Carbon Hill.

Gary has been featured in publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Selling Power Magazine, Sales and Marketing Management Magazine, Impromptu Magazine, and Southwest Airlines' Spirit Magazine, and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox.

Gary is a recipient of the prestigious Sam Walton Leadership Award and because of his unique speaking and writing style, has become known as "America's Storyteller!"

Come back tomorrow to find out more about this acclaimed speaker and multi-published author!



You can purchase Hey Buddy from Amazon.

Gary is giving away a copy of Hey Buddy. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

A guest post by Jennifer Slattery.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

with Eleanor Gustafson

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Eleanor!
What started you on your writing journey?

Probably my mother reading to me before bed each night. She didn’t think much of my early attempts at writing and saw me only as a musician, but the seed had been planted and had to grow.

What most easily distracts you from writing?
In a word—life. Interacting with people who need attention or a word of love and encouragement. Email, of course, comes in there, big time. Church involvement. Husband tending. Answering questions for Author Interviews. . . . :-)

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
Starting in 1979, I have written down every book read, starring the ones I really liked. My all-time favorite novels are Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. Other favorite books are anything by Daphne DuMaurier, Philip Yancey, Charles Dickens, John Eldridge, Tim Keller, etc. Anne Perry has become a favorite detective writer, though you have to be into Victorian malfeasance. Contemporary Christian novelists would include Angela Hunt (Afton of Margate Castle), Susan Meissner (The Shape of Mercy), Davis Bunn (Heartland), Jerry Jenkins (Riven, Hometown Legend), and Lynn Austin (Fire by Night).

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
Well, we can talk about The Stones, which is on the market, or Dynamo, which is currently searching for a home. In the David story, I can’t decide between his third wife Abigail, former wife of Nabal the fool, or Joab, David’s ruthless commander-in-chief. Both are complex characters, but they share an intensity of purpose and direction, though in totally opposite ways. In Dynamo, I like Maybelle, an old lady who serves as Christian mentor for the main character. She has taught me a lot. An excerpt:

Jeth called Maybelle one Sunday afternoon. He desperately needed the balm of her voice and heart. “Maybelle, I’m in a junkyard. Three people, totally broken. And I can’t figure how the pieces go together.”

“Jeth, remember what I told you. God is in the salvage business. He’s put you there with all that brokenness. Do you remember the verse, ‘I can do all things through Christ who—’ Can you finish that verse, Jeth?”

“All things through Christ who strengthens me.”

“No, that’s not always how it goes. ‘I can do all things through Christ who weakens me.’ The Apostle Paul had to learn that. When he was in trouble, God said, ‘My grace is sufficient for you; my power is made perfect in weakness.’"

“ ‘Through Christ who weakens me.’ The Revised Maybelle Version. You’re something else! You got me here in one piece, you know. Did Rob tell you about my not being able to see much?”

“He did. God put blinders on you so you’d have to trust him.”

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Passionato!

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Am I limited to one? How about stretching the life of warm, furry slippers with duct tape? People do notice and surreptitiously ask my husband if they could buy me a new pair. Or wearing clothing, some of which dated back 50 years, to make a point in a church Missions Moment? (A few people, not knowing what I was up to, told me how nice I looked.) My husband and I are probably the only couple in the world who have celebrated their 33 1/3rd, 44 1/4th, and 55 1/5th anniversaries. I have run a chainsaw, helped build our house (hands on, up on the roof, etc.) run a maple-syrup evaporator, sewed a 15-foot tepee, climbed a sheer cliff in Supai Canyon, AZ, with the inside leg seam of my old slacks totally gone from hem to hem. With three men. Your choice of quirks.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Oh, all the time, every day. But they go on a list, and the list MUST be obeyed!

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
My favorite meal with family and friends is one I don’t have to cook. I do cook, though—the hard way (first you grow the food, then you clean it, figure out how to hide healthy greens palatably, etc.)—but it’s never anything I do for fun. Here’s a recipe I cobbled together. (I’ve always wanted to write a Cook’s Book for people who already know how to cook and can adapt recipes to suit their tastes and quantities. This is the sort of recipe I would include. If the idea sounds good, play with it.)
Saute chopped-up sweet potato and onion and maybe some collards or other greens in olive oil till nearly done.
Break up multiples of two slices of bread (preferably whole-grainy types), depending on how many people will be eating. Toss them into the fry pan.
Add 2+ eggs (1-2 pp) and stir madly, coating everything and adding just enough milk to make it hang together. Keep cooking till the eggs look done.
Add pepper somewhere along the way, maybe some grated cheese, and there you go. Fast, easy, AND my husband likes it.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
As my “official” bio says, I like to explore the cosmic struggle between good and evil in light of God’s overarching work of redemption. Grace is, of course, a big one. Dynamo showcases God’s sovereign activity in saving and molding a true servant who rises from the ashes of personal disaster to help bring redemption to the brokenness around him. It’s a theme that challenges me, and I hope it will similarly challenge others.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
2 Corinthians 12:9— “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

When I first went to Wheaton College and explored the bookstore, I saw and bought a small, spiral notepad with this verse on the cover. Didn’t much know what it meant, but I think God knew I would need it throughout my life. Again and again, it has spoken to me, reminding me that it is not my cleverness or skill in writing that will move me along, but God’s power working through me in whatever direction he chooses.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
In raw faith that it will be published, here’s the blurb on Dynamo:

Jeth Cavenaugh hires on with Rob Chilton at his stable of show jumpers and a cranky five-gaited stallion named Dynamo. He studies Rob and Katie’s spiritual commitment but doesn’t step over the line of faith until his girlfriend Janni slaps him viciously. From then on, God begins to work in unorthodox and unsettling ways. But he does have a church friend Maybelle who serves as his interpreter in this foreign territory.

Jeth’s obsession with the stallion Dynamo leads to a tragic accident and recovery, after which he is placed in an excruciating situation, needing to defuse three bombs. Jeth himself must become “Dynamo,” pushing his body and spirit to the cliff’s edge in his attempt to bring redemption to the brokenness around him. This is God in your face: Who is he really? What does he ask of us?

The three main characters in the novel are God (subject), Maybelle (verb), and Jeth (object). The story is not about horses; it is God acting sovereignly. Jeth takes him seriously, and in return, God puts him through spiritual boot camp to turn out a trained, disciplined, and effective servant. I have tried to counter the common perception of a God who exists only to serve each person’s needs, rather than the all-powerful God who is “greater than our mind and heart and perfectly free to reveal himself where and when he wants.” (Henri Nouwen)

Maybelle, an old lady who serves as Jeth’s personal prophet and God interpreter, loves Jeth and walks him through the spiritual minefield of God’s unusual activity in his life. She sees, even before Jeth becomes a Christian, that God has chosen him for a special purpose. Drawing on the Old Testament prophets, she feeds him passages that strike terror in his heart but that bolster him at critical moments.

Scriptural Inspiration: The God of Ezekiel and Daniel; the sovereign God who pulls and shapes and lifts Jeth into the unfathomably rich fellowship of suffering servanthood.


You can purchase The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David from Amazon.

Eleanor is giving away a copy of The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David . To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

meet Eleanor Gustafson

Eleanor K. Gustafson has been thinking up stories since she was five or six years old. When she first began to read, God grabbed her with—yes—a story that had an invitation at the end, and she was hooked for life. Friends and even her mother, after reading her early attempts, told her straight out to stick to music as a career, but she pushed manfully along and began publishing both fiction and nonfiction in 1978.

The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David is her fourth novel and builds off the biblical account of David, bringing the characters and dramatic elements alive.

A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, she has been actively involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. She has enjoyed a variety of experiences—riding horses, gardening, house construction, tree farming, and parenting—all of which help bring color and humor to her fiction.

One of her major writing goals has been to make scriptural principles understandable and relevant for today’s readers through the undeniable power of story.

She has also written Appalachian Spring (1984, Zondervan), Wild Harvest (1987, Zondervan), and Middle Night (2000, POD)

You can find her online at www.eleanorgustafson.com.


The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David

"We know more of David’s life than any other biblical person. But not nearly enough. The tangle of motives and emotions, chaos, and charisma continue to kindle the imaginations of our best writers, drawing us into a story in which we see every detail of our humanity against the epic of salvation. Eleanor K. Gustafson is one of our best."
Eugene Peterson, author of The Message


With comprehensive detail and flowing prose, Eleanor Gustafson crafts the retelling of King David’s life—from his teenaged anointing to his death—as seen though the eyes of Asaph, a Levite musician.

Fictional in scope, yet with intentional scriptural accuracy, The Stones provides a revealing behind-the-scenes glimpse into biblical history with all the twists, turns, thrills, and romance of one of the world’s greatest dramas.

You will be there as:
  • A young teen collects stones to take on a giant.
  • A prideful rebel takes count of his fighting men.
  • A fallible leader succumbs to lust, temptation, and deceit.
  • A poet and musician grows closer to God through prayer and worship.
  • A man after God’s heart discovers the unfailing love and forgiveness of his Creator.

The Stones is an epic adventure of man’s innate need to worship God and to rely on him for strength—and how badly things can go when he fails to do so.

Here's an excerpt of The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David:

“Who is that?” David asked.

Joram studied the view, a slight twitch on his mouth. “The house of Uriah the Hittite, my lord. Presumably, that’s Uriah’s wife, the daughter of Eliam.”

“Ah!” was all David said.

Uriah the Hittite. A Gibbor—Mighty Man. “Flame of Yahweh.” His name said it—a man honorable, courageous, willing to take on the noblest effort or the most menial task for the sake of God’s chosen. A man with a beautiful wife. David sighed. His wife Abigail had talked about this woman, how lonely she was. Her name . . . Bathsheba—yes. Bathsheba the Beautiful would be lonely again tonight, for her Hittite husband was far away, holding up his end—whether noble or menial—of the siege of Rabbah.

The sun went down; light spilled from Bathsheba’s house, and a lamp traveled from doorway to pool across the thickening gloom. Bathsheba finished her ablutions, pulled on her robe, and withdrew. David remained on the roof; a lute played down below.

“Would you like something to eat, my lord?”

“No . . . yes. In my room . . . and perhaps later. Food for two. Wine, fruit, whatever you can find. And . . . the woman next door. No rush. Whenever . . .” David spread his hands vaguely.

With the slight lift of one eyebrow, Joram bowed and went out.

He returned two hours later, after the palace had settled into silence, with no one in the hallways to observe a woman who didn’t belong there. At the doorway of the king’s suite, he propelled Bathsheba through. She hesitated in fragile beauty until David, responding to her scent, looked up. She had dressed carefully for this first impression, with arm and ankle bracelets and a nose ring just visible behind her face covering. She was clearly nervous, but at the same time aroused and hungry. She had come to David with everything she would have provided for Uriah, had Uriah cared.

David reached out an appreciative hand and drew her in. “My lady Bathsheba, your name is like perfume. Welcome to the chambers of the king.”


You can purchase The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David from Amazon.

Eleanor is giving away a copy of The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David . To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Day two with Cheryl Moeller and Diane

A guest post by Diane Loew.

Welcome back to Day two with Cheryl and Diane. For those you might have missed yesterday’s installment on the Book Loft you may want to scroll down and read it first. Go ahead, we’ll wait for you.

Pretty good, huh? Ok let’s get going on today’s.

Diane: Can you give us a list of your books in order of when they were written? What prompted you to write each one?


Over 100 free or nearly free creative and practical ideas to do with preschool kids.  Each idea is short and organized under 8 subjects matters like math, science, reading, playing, etc.  The book is ideal for mom, grandmom, babysitter, Sunday school teacher or preschool teacher to use as a curriculum or a supplement to another curriculum.  Illustrated by Susan R. Smith. 

Lexi’s Homeschool Diary (a chapter novel for children) by Cheryl and MacKenzie Moeller
First of it's kind, chapter novel with homeschooled characters.  It's a novel filled with fun, family, and faith that kids love.  At the end of each chapter is curriculum that mom loves.  It's at about a kindergarten through second grade level for the child to read or dad to read aloud.  Illustrated by Linda Gredy.


Baby Saves Christmas by Cheryl and Melissa (Briggs) Moeller
The true meaning of Christmas told in a story line that contains practical ideas of real gifts you could really make together.  Grandma and grandpa have no money for gifts, but Baby really does save Christmas.  Beautifully illustrated by Susan R. Smith.

Marriage Minutes by Bob and Cheryl Moeller
Got a minute? It seems like such a short amount of time.  What can we do in a minute?  According to the experience of Bob and Cheryl Moeller, a minute spent with God and your spouse every day can change your marriage and your life.

God's got a beautiful plan for your marriage. Have you discovered it? See what God has to say about your marriage by spending a minute each day with Marriage Minutes. Each devotional is centered around a particular subject related to marriage and a couple's walk with the Lord and contains a pertinent Scripture passage. The Moellers share the Bible's truth on many topics in your marriage.


Keep Courting by Bob and Cheryl Moeller
"Bob has been my Valentine for nearly 31 years! He swept me off my feet, with his elaborate courting! There’s no better time than today, to revive your courtship. Courtship shouldn't end with marriage. 'Keep courting:  100 Ways to Keep Courting After Marriage' will fan the flames of continued courtship."  - Cheryl Moeller

A gift book!  50 ways to keep courting your husband and 50 ways to keep courting your wife.



 

For Better For Worse For Keeps by Bob and Cheryl Moeller
For Better, For Worse, For Keeps is a book about hope- hope for couples who have watched their marriages go from a passionate love affair to a daily drudgery, or even worse. But it isn't a book just for marriages on the brink. It is for any couple who desires to renew their love and commitment to their marriage. Hope, love, grace, a fresh start, a second chance - these are the essential elements of renewing a marriage when the going gets tough.


Marriage Miracle by Bob and Cheryl Moeller
This exciting new release shows couples how to resolve their marriage relationships by softening their hearts toward one another.  Scripture based and story-driven, this book walks couples through the process of liberation and sets them free to embrace all that God intended for their marriage.




Help! Mom’s Stuck on Spin Cycle by Cheryl Moeller
At last a book and CD that answers the proverbial question, “Where is my other sock?.” Cheryl Moeller, who spent 30 years in the laundry room emerges at last to tell her story – such as the time Metamucil tablets left in a pants pocket became the size of basketballs after 30 minutes in the washing machine. Her over-the-laundry pile humor will help you laugh your way through motherhood -- 31 days in a row.

As far as why I wrote them, I guess I just got ideas being open to God’s leading and people’s suggestions.

Diane: I know you love each one, just like your children, but do you have a favorite?

Cheryl: Help! Mom’s Stuck on Spin Cycle is some of my syndicated comedy columns and sketches for standup comedy which I love to do.

Diane: Do you have any upcoming projects for us to watch for coming out soon?

Cheryl: I am writing a Crockpot Cookbook due out next Christmas. I love my crockpot. It’s my best friend. Who else could be so patient and have such a listening ear? I feel like a rocket scientist when I have dinner in the crockpot and it’s 9:00 AM in the morning.

Diane: Two more questions. What has been your biggest disappointment regarding your writing?

Cheryl: This year I am thrilled to be writing my cookbook with Harvest House Publishers, so I am thinking the sky is the ceiling at this point. I have a lot more ideas I am working on and very excited about. I guess my disappointment is that I don't have a best seller yet, but the word is yet!

Diane: What has been your greatest surprise or joy pertaining to your writing?

Cheryl: I was an editor and literary agent and yearned to write myself and slowly and with a lot of hard work, I developed so I could co-author with Bob. Now, I am at a level that I can do every other project with Bob and every other project on my own. So that is a great joy and surprise. He's got a few projects that he is working on himself also, so it works out great. He wants to do more adult fiction and I want to do more adult non-fiction. I am surprised with joy at my writing future. Smile.

As you can see Cheryl with all her responsibilities has figured out how to pursue her writing while trying to keep all the plates spinning. I am sure she will be the first to say she has broken many a plate along the way, yet she continues on. You can keep up with her at http://www.momlaughs.blogspot.com and at http://www.forkeepsministries.com .

I hope you’ve enjoyed and learned as much as I have these two days with Cheryl.


Cheryl is giving away a copy of Marriage Miracle. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

A guest post by Diane Loew.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

with Barb Harrison aka Leann Harris

Today is another double header day! Don't miss the interview Diane Loew has with Cheryl Moeller.

Welcome to the Book Loft, Barb! It's always a treat visiting with you. =)
People talk about life before children—what was your life before writing?
Teaching and then babies. When I got pregnant with my first child, I quit teaching. When baby two, started school, I knew I had to do something with myself, so I started writing.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
The hero in my new books has two siblings. His older brother is a nice guy, and coming up with his story was a challenge, but he came through, Steeple Hill bought the story. Zach’s (Second Chance Ranch) story was easy. Ethan’s was hard. Beth let me do her story without any problems.

What book have you recently enjoyed reading?
As a main stream thriller, I loved Vince Flynn’s book, Pursuit Of Honor. On the inspirational side, I read all Linda Goodnight’s Christmas book, The Lawman’s Christmas Wish. I’m going to read Lyn Cote book Her Healing Ways, next.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
As a secondary character Ollie caught my heart. He’s a grizzled old man whose bark is worse than his bite. And when I learned that his only son was in Montana and there was no one to support him when he got cancer, all the characters rallied around him.


What's one of your dreaded things to do?
That’s a tossup—laundry or cooking. I really need a wife. Once you start writing, that domestic stuff just flies out the window.

LoL, tell me about it! I'm very thankful for my girls!!

If you were a dessert, what would you be?

A 5-minute Pie.

Barbara Harrison - 5 Minute Pie


Isn’t that simple? Now if you want to cut some calories, use the sugar-free instant pudding.

This is my all-time favorite, Barb! The only thing that makes it better? A dash of peppermint extract with chocolate pudding so it's a chocolate mint mousse pie. yummz! ;-)

If you were to find a purple polka-dotted monster in your kitchen one morning, how would you respond?
I’d tell him it was too early to be messing around. Get some breakfast and I’d talk to him after my tea and oatmeal.

Tell us about one of your favorite memories or moments in your life.
When I was growing up the neighbors across the street, the Lees, were Irish. On St. Patrick’s day their mother, Peggy, made the entire dinner green. Stew (that wasn’t green), homemade bread, butter, jell-o, and a cake which were all green. You can’t imagine the first time they invited us over to celebrate St. Patrick’s day and sitting down to green bread. It is such a fun memory. And Peggy made the best bread and had the most wonderful smile and laugh.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
Forgiveness. Forgiving others and ourselves. When we fail God and He forgives us, we tend to carry around that guilt instead of giving it to Him and allowing Him to heal us. My stories usually have that in the mix in somewhere.

What is the Lord teaching you, or recently taught you?
He is teaching me to rest in Him. I was reading in my devotional book about spending a few days away from normal everything activities, be quiet and renew myself and learn to listen to God. When we’ve got so much activity and noise in our life, we drown out that small still voice that God uses to talk to us.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
The book hasn’t been scheduled yet, but it is Beth McClure’s story. Another Iraqi veteran is helping at the ranch, but keeps to himself that is until his dog decides that Beth and Prince Charming (the horse) need to be his friend and his master’s, Tyler Lynch. The book after that is Ethan’s.



You can purchase Second Chance Ranch from Amazon.

Barbara is giving away a copy of Second Chance Ranch. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Meet Cheryl Moeller

A guest post by Diane Loew.
Meet Cheryl Moeller. Cheryl Moeller, M.A.R., is a proud launderer, wife, mother of six children (ages 11 to 28), one son-in-law, and three hungry dogs. Cheryl is grandmum to Ben. She has been married to her husband, Bob, for 31 years, and together they are co-founders of For Better, For Worse, For Keeps Ministries.

I met Cheryl when her dad Rev. Roy Webster became the pastor of the church I was attending in Flint, MI. I was around 13 and she was 9. I was better friends with her older sister Cinda. We have reconnected on facebook and she has been one of my biggest cheerleaders, teachers, and mentor for my writing.

Grab a cup of coffee and let’s get to know her.

Diane: Growing up as a PK – preacher’s kid, there must have been some great things as well as not so great things that went along with the territory. What was the most challenging part?

Cheryl: Maybe people thinking we wanted to get picked to lead a song or say a verse, when really we didn’t.

Diane: What was the best part of having a Dad as a pastor?

Cheryl: Getting to roll under the pews during the week when no one was in the church building.

Diane: Did you grow up thinking you would be in the ministry or would be a PW – preacher’s wife?

Cheryl: I felt a call to full time Christian service, when I was nine years old. I was in the children’s tent during camp meeting at Gaines Camp, Gaines, Michigan and they had a missionary as a special children’s speaker. He challenged us that we should be willing to go if called God us. He asked that we consider Christ’s call first instead of last. And, that night I told God that if he wanted me to serve fulltime, I would do where-ever he wanted me to go.

Diane: Ah, yes, camp meeting. The memories of the long trough drinking fountain, the tabernacle with the side windows propped open that looked like a huge bird ready to take off. All the picnic tables outside where you could actually be in church when you were outdoors. That was a big deal as a kid. There is something about Camp Meeting.

Diane: What’s better – being PK or PW?

Cheryl: I think it’s easier to be a PK.

Diane: Why would you say that?

Cheryl: Because it's a lot easier to be a PK than to be a PW. Your pastor's wife needs a lot of encouragement and I encourage you to do that for her.

Diane: Where have you ministered as PW?

Chery: IN, OH, MN, AZ, and IL

Diane: Tell us about your family and what they are up to. I know you have a daughter in Israel. How is that having one of your chicks so far from the nest?

Cheryl: I believe God gives a special grace for parents of missionaries. It’s not easy when friends walk into Starbucks with their adult daughters and mine is so far away. But God is good and I know the safer place for her, her husband, and sweet baby to be is in the center of God’s will.

Diane: Did you wake up one morning and decide, I think I’ll be a comedian or did life just suck you into it?

Cheryl: I felt called to do comedy six years ago, but I ran from the call for over a year. Comedy is so transparent and vulnerable. I worried that no one would laugh. Then, on one of my older sister’s 50th birthday, she sent everyone a youtube of herself swimming across the deep end in her city pool. All year she had taken private swimming lessons, then surprised us with swimming laps on her 50th birthday. She was the one of us four sisters who had never learned how to swim even though my mom sent us all to swimming lessons.

Diane: A lot of your humor comes from your daily life, right?

Chery: I find my humor for sketches and skits from the everydayness of life.

Diane: When did you first pursue comedy?

Cheryl: I started by doing momlaughs blog www.momlaughs.blogspot.com and then started using the stories and Top Ten Lists that I posted on my blog. One thing led to another and now it’s a regular part of most things that I do. I have even talked my husband Bob into incorporating more humor into his conferences.

Diane: When did you first pursue writing?

Cheryl: I had an amazing creative writing teacher in high school in Flint, Michigan. Mrs. Pirrett walked in the first day of Creative Writing Class my sophomore year and said a lot of you are going to get published in national magazines this year. She proved to be right. People did because she believed they could and taught them to believe they could, also!

Diane: Did you start out writing or doing your comedy act first?

Cheryl: I wrote first in other nonfiction topics. Then moved into the comedy only five years ago.

Diane: I notice your books are family oriented. They are categorized as comedy, cooking and marriage. I’m looking forward to a day when I can sit down to a meal from your cookbook while reading a marriage book with a humorous slant – think you can make that happen?

Chery: The cookbooks are all about encouraging families to sit down together to eat two or three meals together everyday. The comedy is all about having fun as a family and couple. The marriage books are all about connecting two hearts for a lifetime, which need a third cord – Jesus Christ.

The family that eats, plays, and prays together; stays together.

Diane: Seriously, how did your ministry evolve into being marriage centered?

Cheryl: I think that was primarily because we both have nieces and nephews from broken families and we don’t want other kids to have to go through that pain.

Diane: Do you feel more pressure to have a “perfect” marriage? – You know practice what you preach.

Cheryl: We try to live our lives before God and people as an open book. How can you not do that with six kids? I feel like because the Lord is my shepherd; we have everything that we need in Christ Jesus. What more can we want or need? I guess as a pastor's kid and then as a pastor's wife, I am used to the fish bowl. I just try to walk before the Lord each day, hand in hand with Bob and leave the rest and the results to God. We are not perfect, but are forgiven by God's grace alone.

Diane: Have you ever been caught in public being ouchy with each other and hoped no one saw you?

Cheryl: Yes, one time I asked Bob for keys and asked him to throw them to me and I did not catch them. In fact I missed catching them by about 10 feet and really hoped no one saw me. That was the last time we tossed keys to one another. HA! Now we carry them to the intended person.

Diane: What is the one thing we would be most surprised to know about you?

Cheryl: I always go back in after the rest of the family is in the car and double check every lock, window, and large and small appliance. My mom always did that, too. My mom’s family had a house fire when she was growing up on a dairy farm in northern Michigan, so I think we have in our minds to check and then double check.

Diane: What is one thing you don’t want us to know about you?

Cheryl: I struggle like every other writer to discipline myself for time to write. I wish it was easier. I wish there was an easy formula, but writer's just need to go ahead and write. It's talent and gifting, but it's also a lot of hard work and discipline. I am praying for more discipline in my writing this year.

Diane: What is your next project?

Cheryl: A crockpot cookbook with a national company.

Diane: As a mentor/teacher to writers, what are your top 5 “must dos” to be a successful writer?

Cheryl:
1. Look your reader right into the eyes and share yourself.

2. Develop your storytelling skills.

3. Read broadly from a lot of sources. Go into the library one day a month and just browse magazines and books.

4. All you have to offer is who you are, so keep developing and growing, especially in the area of becoming more like Christ.

5. Read a chapter from Proverbs every day to learn about getting along with people. Read a chapter from Psalms every day to learn about getting to know God.


I hope you’ve all had a good time learning about Cheryl and experiencing her heart. Stop back tomorrow for the “rest of the story”.


Cheryl is giving away a copy of Marriage Miracle. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

A guest post by Diane Loew.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

meet Barb Harrison aka Leann Harris

Today is a double header! Don't miss this week's winners and our COTT interview with Tiffany Amber Stockton!

When Barbara was first introduced to her husband in college she knew she would never date the man. He was a graduate student getting a PhD in physics, and Barbara had purposely taken a second year of biology in high school to avoid taking physics. So much for first impressions. They have been married forty years and still approach life from very different angles.

After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, Barbara taught math and science to deaf high school students for a couple of years until the birth of her first child. When her youngest child started school, Barbara decided to fulfill a life-long dream and began writing. After both her children left home, she went back to teaching.

She is a former president of the Dallas Area Romance Writers and the program director for Ready Writers, D/FW ACRW chapter. Barbara presently lives in Plano, Texas with her husband. Her thirteenth novel, Second Chance Ranch, is a Jan ‘11 release.

You can find Barbara online at www.leannharis.com, www.barbharrison.com. Characters in Second Chance Ranch are blogging now.

Second Chance Ranch
Former soldier and rodeo rider Zachary McClure's war injuries are far deeper than physical. Skeptical that anyone can reach the dark place in his soul, he visits an Albuquerque equine therapy ranch with no expectations. How can horses mend the physical and emotional injures when nothing--and no one--else has? He finds the answer when he meets Sophie Powell, an ex-army medic with a sunny smile, gentle touch and a determination to help other through horse therapy. But behind her big hopes and cheerful attitude lurks pain--and Zachary is just the man to change that. He can make Sophie's dreams a reality...and she may be the woman to heal this wounded hero's heart.


FIRST PAGE

Second Chance Ranch
Zachary McClure closed his eyes and breathed in the calming and familiar smells of the barn--horses, grains, leather and liniment. He hadn’t smelled anything that comforting in the last four years. Dust, diesel, and fear had filled his days in Iraq. Disinfectant, moans, and sickness had filled his last year in the hospital. The smell of horses took him back to pre-Army days. That was before—-
He stopped the thought. He couldn’t change the past.

“You all right?”

Zach opened his eyes and looked into his sister’s concerned face. Beth had always looked up to him, but lately they argued a lot. He hadn’t wanted to come today, didn’t want to face the ghosts of his past and the limitations of today, but she kept badgering him with calls and coming by his apartment, telling him he needed to start riding again. He tried sending her home, but somehow she got him to agree to come once here to the New Hope Ranch.



You can purchase Second Chance Ranch from Amazon.

Barbara is giving away a copy of Second Chance Ranch. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Tiffany Amber Stockton’s Clash

Tiffany Amber Stockton’s Liberty’s Promise competed at Clash of the Titles during our Best Hook—Historical week. Here’s a treat for you. The opening paragraphs of the book…
Heedless of the home-stitched stockings showing at her knees, Raelene Strattford ran down the tree-lined lane, her skirts flying behind her. Strands of hair from her crown of braids came loose and flailed in the cool breeze. After being cooped inside the house for the past week, abed with a fever, it should have been refreshing, but Raelene was distracted by the lone wagon coming toward her.

It wasn’t the one she expected. This one belonged to her neighbors, not her mother and father. One man drove it at a dirge-like pace as another walked alongside, both with heads down. But what made Raelene run even harder were the two workhorses tied behind it. Her family’s workhorses! That could only mean. . .

A sob tore through her body.


Tiffany’s excerpt would have worked beautifully for our current Clash--Most Gut-wrenching. Check out this paragraph found further on in the excerpt…

Mama and Papa lay in the back of the wagon, bloodied and battered. She covered her mouth to catch the moan rising from the center of her anguish, but it escaped. And with it, Raelene’s strength. Her knees buckled, and she would have landed on the ground had it not been for two strong arms that held her upright.

Imagine the horror of finding both your parents in such a state? Gut-wrenching, indeed. It was this depth of emotion that drew us to Tiffany’s excerpt.

I happen to have read Liberty’s Promise and can attest to its historical fluency. Set in farm country of colonial Delaware, it had elements that are both unique and familiar. Tiffany admits that one of her favorite time periods is Colonial. “I'm fascinated by the founding fathers and the people who forged the great nation of the United States.” That fascination led her pen a novel filled with all the rugged, romance of our infant nation.

And soon, we’re to see more of Delaware from this multi-published author who says, “I am about to start a new series set in Delaware during the late 1800's, so you can bet you'll see references to my first series set in Delaware, even though there's over 100 years difference in the time periods.” Fun, fun! Delaware’s not a state we read about much. It’s rather tiny and generally forgotten.

In England, I visited Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest and Major Oak, a tree estimated to be 800-1000 years old. I stood there in awe and wondered what secrets it held. What stories could that tree tell? My imagination went wild.

Tiffany had a similar experience, but instead of wondering the stories, she wrote them. This is Tiffany’s tale of how Liberty’s Promise came to be…

“About eight years ago, I was driving by a house that I passed almost every day while running my usual errands. This day, in particular, something made me stop the car on the other side of the road. I rolled down the window and looked at the historic marker at the edge of the driveway with a notation that said, “circa 1740.” I thought to myself, “If only those walls could speak.” What a story they would tell! That started me on a research journey where I learned everything I could about the home, only to learn that not a lot was known or recorded about the actual family who lived there for nearly 200 years before the house and original land was sold at a state auction. So, being the writer that I am, I took a literary license and … made it up!”

Well, you did a fine job, sweetie! We were honored to have you at COTT.

Learn more about Tiffany at her website.

Up next week, host Jennifer Slattery with one of the authors from our October Nature Scenes Clash.

A guest post by April Gardner. April is the founder and senior editor of Clash of the Titles and author of the best-selling novel, Wounded Spirits.

Sorry folks, this is not a giveaway but come back tomorrow for a spotlight and giveaway with Cheryl Moeller. =) And don't forget that we DO have a giveaway today with Leann Harris.

Winners!

The winner of:
  • Linore Rose Burkard's Before the Season Ends or The Country House Courtship is jdjmcc
  • Shannon Taylor Vannatter's White Doves  is  jackie smith
  •  April Gardner's Wounded Spirits is lgm52
  • Andrea Boeshaar's Unexpected Love is Sunny

Winners, it's your responsibility to contact me with your address so the author can send you a book.

Subscribing by email will ensure you don't miss the winners list. ;-)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Meet Lynn Dove Part Two

Welcome back readers. Meet Lynn Dove. Lynn joined us for the first part of her interview yesterday. (Click here to read the first part). Let's catch up with Lynn where we left off.

What advice would you give to young writers who are thinking about becoming published authors?
I have been asked often to give advice to young writers and truly the best advice I could give is this:

Write!

I believe everyone has a story inside of them. As a teacher, I encourage my students to write poetry, journal, write short stories and novellas. The more one writes, the more you improve and polish your craft. Write about things that appeal to you, write from the heart and write from experience. Much of my writing is based on my personal experiences and I believe God allows us to go through these experiences for a reason. Writing allows us the opportunity to share our life lessons with others. If God has called you to write…just WRITE!

I actually wrote Shoot the Wounded well over ten years ago. It started out as a short story and after I had written one hundred pages I knew I couldn’t consider it a “short” story any longer. Then the manuscript literally (hahaha) took up space on the hard drive of my computer for ten years. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and battled the disease for two years. My family and I experienced God profoundly through that time and certainly to many I am considered a “survivor” today but I hope I have done much more than survive, I hope I have “thrived”!

I wanted to share part of that experience with my readers, so in Heal the Wounded, the main character’s mom is going through breast cancer and I write about how a family copes with that in the book.

The next piece of advice to young writers is:

Read!

I don’t think it is possible to be a writer if you don’t like to read. I read all genres and because I write primarily for young adults and teens I try to read all the books that they may be interested in.

Do you have any publishing and/or marketing advice for new writers?

I am still a “rookie” for all intents and purposes when it comes to publishing and marketing a book. For me, I find that writing a book is a relatively simple thing, but marketing a book can be extremely challenging, time-consuming, occasionally frustrating and discouraging. I have learned over this year to network with other authors, especially Christian authors who have experience with publishing, and those like me who are new to it. Some online social networking sites have given me the opportunity to meet some wonderful writers and authors who have been more than willing to share their expertise, their successes and failures with me. I have learned that book signings can be fun, only if you go into them with the attitude that you might not sell one book, but you’ll meet lots of interesting people.

One thing I would tell new authors is to not feel shy about purposefully promoting yourself in the marketplace. I think that was one of the hardest things for me to do initially. As Christians, we value a humble attitude, but as authors the louder and bolder we are in promoting ourselves to our readers the more books they will buy and read. Some self-published or POD (print on demand) authors are quite content to write for a select audience, family and friends, but for those of us who want to reach a larger, more world-wide audience, we need to be prepared to create a “buzz” about the book. The only way to do that is to get people talking about it. Word of mouth is huge!

That said, I think it is also important to ask yourself the questions ahead of time about what your personal goals are with publishing a book. I applaud my publisher, Word Alive Press for asking some pointed questions up front in their publishing questionnaire. One question in particular prompted me to prayerfully consider my personal goals: “What is the one thing, (the most important thing) you would like to accomplish with your manuscript (book)?” I remember I wrote, “My hope is that teenagers and young adults who read this book will be touched by the message in the story and ultimately that this book and any others I write will bring Glory to God.”

To celebrate the launch of Heal the Wounded, Lynn will be hosting a contest on January 25th on her blog, Journey Thoughts at http://lynndove.wordpress.com/ Just click on the picture for details!



You can purchase Heal the Wounded from Amazon.

Now the fun begins. Lynn has been kind enough to offer a free copy of Heal the Wounded. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meet Lynn Dove

A guest spotlight by Shellie Neumeier.
An Interview with Lynn Dove – author of the “Wounded Trilogy”
Lynn has been kind enough to offer a free copy of Heal the Wounded. Comment below to enter the drawing which closes February 13th and the winner will be announced in the weekly winners post on February 16th.

 
Lynn Dove is a graduate of the University of Calgary, where she earned her Bachelor of Education degree in 1981, she has spent the last thirty years teaching children in the private and public school settings. In 2007, she earned a Masters of Religious Education degree from the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada.

Tell me something about yourself?
I am a Christ-follower, a wife, a mom, a soon-to be grandmother, a teacher and a writer (in that order). I wear so many different “hats” that I find prioritizing them tends to focus me better. I have been married to my best friend, Charles for 32 years and we have three wonderful children: daughter, Laurelle (husband, Matt) are expecting our first grand baby in February, and we have two live-at-home teenagers, Brett and Carmen. I have been a teacher most of my adult life, and I still substitute from time to time at the private Christian school my teenagers attend. I love volunteering and working closely with the youth in our church as well. Lastly, when I’m not writing, I’m reading. I love to blog and when I’m not blogging, I’m working on my next book.

Do you have a life verse that you have claimed and why is it so meaningful to you?
My husband, Charles and I have claimed this life verse: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 Through our nearly 32 years of marriage, this verse has sustained us through all the ups and downs of life knowing we may make our plans but God is always in control… AND He allows U-turns!

What led you to write your “Wounded Trilogy” books? Why did you target youth with these books?
Having been an educator for over thirty years, and I discovered that there are still very few good contemporary Christian books for a young adult audience.

Youth today are under such a spiritual attack from the enemy. He wants to destroy their spirit and he does it subtly by surrounding them with worldly messages that make them question their looks, their intelligence, as well as their hope for tomorrow. I wanted to write books that deal with relevant themes, but with a definitive Christian message running throughout: the hope in Jesus Christ.

I also wanted my young readers to know that everyone makes mistakes; Christians are not excluded from that. Scripture teaches us to “love one another” even when they make mistakes, however our actions speak louder than our words at times. I have seen wonderful young people crumble from the constant barrage of cyberspace bullying, malicious gossip and innuendo. Insensitive words and blatant lies can lead to deep emotional scarring sometimes with tragic consequences. My books deal with gritty topics such as “cutting”, bullying, gossip, family violence and cancer. We are not excluded from tough situations just because we are Christians, on the contrary it is exactly in those tough times that God comes alongside us and helps us. I want my young readers to understand that they are never alone; God is their ever present comfort and strength in everything they are going through.

Could you tell us a little bit about your books?
Shoot the Wounded, the first book of the Wounded Trilogy, is written for youth and young adults. It addresses how lies and gossip destroy a person's spirit and speaks to the heart of relevant themes such as bullying, teen pregnancy and family violence. The story points the characters, and ultimately the reader, to hope in Jesus Christ. STW was a finalist in the 2010 Readers Favorite Book Awards.

Heal the Wounded, is the much-anticipated sequel to STW and the second book of the Wounded Trilogy. HTW delves even deeper into the real world of teenagers trying to live out their faith in the midst of upset and struggle. Heal the Wounded, continues to follow the characters, Jake, Leigh, Mike (Jake's best friend), and Tim (Ronnie's brother) each of them dealing with the aftermath of their friend’s death in the first book. Jake is especially dealing with a variety of disappointments (“Job” experiences I call them) that cause him to question why God allows bad things to happen to good people. A new character is introduced into the story, Cassidy, a young cancer patient whose unquenchable spirit and faith impacts Jake, Leigh, Mike and Tim in a way that allows them all to experience God's grace and the power of His healing in each one of their lives.

Both STW and HTW have been selected as helpful resources on the world’s largest anti-bullying website: www.bullying.org

I hope to have Love the Wounded, the final book in the trilogy published next year. I am also writing an autobiographical account about my experiences and personal battle with breast cancer, and I am working on putting that book proposal together to submit to prospective publishers next year.

Don't forget to comment below to win a copy of her latest book, Heal the Wounded. Then join us tomorrow for more about Lynn Dove.



You can purchase Heal the Wounded from Amazon.

Lynn is giving away a copy of Heal the Wounded. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

with Jim Wysong

Today's interview is special because Jim is my husband. We've been married for over 20 years and what Jim wrote in this book has changed our lives. This interview is about his book, not us, but I did throw in a few extra questions. :-)

Jim has a special promotion going so be sure to look for it at the bottom of this post, and he's giving away a book here, too.

And now I'd like to introduce you to my husband, Jim Wysong. (Isn't he distinguished looking?! Wowzers but I love that man!) Oh, and beware, I sprinkled my two cents in there too. hehe.

Welcome to the Book Loft, Hon! I'm so excited that this day has finally come after all the work you've put in on this project!
Why don't you tell us a little about your family.

My wife Patty and I have five children, three boys and two girls. We
have enjoyed our children in every stage of life, from the infant, two/three year old, all the way through and including the teenage years. They are great. I love them all very much. Their ages range from just turned 18 to 9 years old. Our two oldest started college last semester and the other three are home--Patty has been home schooling them from the beginning.

LoL, Jim almost thought this was a trick question, but the kids are so much a part of him and his life I couldn't leave this one out. He's one of the best dads I've ever seen.

What prompted you to write this book?
I was talking with a friend of mine about some of the things that men face and things that trip up so many men and women. What affects one sex affects the other, whether we like if or not. As Mandy Pratt and I talked, she told me several times that I really needed to write a book about it. After giving it some thought, I began writing my thoughts, a couple of pages here and there, then brought them together for this book.

That's the simplified version. He would fill his 8' whiteboard with notes, thoughts, diagrams, and ideas, then we'd take pictures of it so he could erase it and fill it again. Some of those things he copied onto loooooong sheets of freezer wrapping paper so he could see how everything connected to each other. It amazed me! And still does!

“JimTell us a little about how it was writing your first book.
The first book is always the most difficult to write, prior to having completed your first one, it is something you have never done, which carries with it the feeling of “do I have it in me?” Once the first one is done, you now KNOW it is something you can do.

I have had fun writing this book, that being said, it was hard work at times too. The thing that turns my crank, is that a person I have never met, can benefit from what is contained within.

What I like about the characters in this book is that they are real (not the names of course), like everyone they have some challenges. But they, like each of us have far more potential than we realize. It is exciting to see a person when they finally grasp a glimpse of their potential and run with it. People can do so much more than they have been taught to believe they can do. So can you!

One thing about my man: helping people is embedded deep within him.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Staying at it. It is so easy to get distracted when writing the book. I have used this quote from Keith Cunningham to keep me on task. “Get in line and stay in line.” Find out what works for you. Some like music, others need it quiet. Study yourself to find what helps get you into your zone.

I find that what I have been doing before I sit down to write has an affect on how smooth it flows.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Yes, there are things that I occasionally put off (not intentionally though) Once I realize what is happening, it is much easier to get myself in gear and do it.

What would a perfect day for you look like?
Not sure! I think so often we come up with a dream day for this kind of question as in everything goes my way day. In all honesty, I think that any day we learn and grow (which is always our choice) is a good day. I have never had a perfect day, but I sure have had a lot of good days. How is your day going today?

This cracked me up because it is SO Jim. But let me also say, he's been married to me long enough that he loves palm trees and almost any day would be better if it included them. ;-)

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I don't read much fiction. I like books that force you to think a little at the very least. Questions are at the heart of learning. In fact, it is impossible to learn something without a question coming into the equation somewhere in the process.

Jim and I are extreme opposites. I like romances, he like deep thinking books. And he reads them with highlighters! *shiver* I get the boiled down version of many books, which is good, otherwise I'd never know about them.

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
I do not eat while writing, it is too distracting.

LoL—he really doesn't eat while he's writing! So I munch enough for both of us! =)

What lesson has the Lord recently taught you?
The things I focus on in my mind will either strengthen my faith and confidence in Him, or it will erode it.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I have three books that are currently in the works, Building Blocks to Change, Mentoring into Manhood and one that addresses how what I explore within NAM has affected and is affecting the American Church today.

How has writing The Neutering of the American Male changed your life?
Prior to writing this book much of what is in it I knew but had not worked to refine it to the extent it is within the book. Working to bring it all together, and see how all of these elements work out in the lives of men and women was very rewarding. Not just in respect to having a book completed, but also that it has given each of us in my family the keys to make changes that we had tried to make for many years before.

It is easier for people to see how God was working in the lives of people who are in the Bible, but much more difficult for us to see how He is working things out in our own lives. There have been many things in my life that I did not understand why God said OK for them to happen. Looking back on them now, I can see clearly that if I had not gone through them, I would not have been able to write this book.

When you're not writing, what are some of the things you do?
I love being with and doing things with my wife Patty and our family. I have always loved building things and still do. I like variety. I enjoy being with my sons, teaching them how to be men that have a strong foundation in their God and in themselves. I thoroughly enjoy being with my daughters, they are wonderful and add a great dynamic to our family.

In the course of my life I have realized that I am indeed on a journey that does not have to be endured, but rather can be enjoyed. There is a question on my white board it reads like this: “How do I want to play the second half?” I find that inspiring!

So how about it? How are you going to play out the balance of your journey?


Thanks for being with us here at the Book Loft, Hon. It was a treat getting to interview you. :-)
Jim is giving away a copy of The Neutering of the American Male. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Reviews from the Heart gave The Neutering of the American Male
5 stars. Check it out her review here.

Anyone who buys The Neutering of the American Male here or through Jim's website will receive a FREE Personality Temperament Assessment which correlates with the information in the book and FREE shipping.





Saturday, January 22, 2011

meet Jim Wysong

This spotlight is one that is very near and dear to my heart because Jim is my husband. I (usually) write fluffy stuff, Jim does not. :-) We've been married for over 20 years and what Jim wrote in this book has changed our lives.

Jim has a special promotion going so be sure to look for it at the bottom of this post, and he's giving away a book here, too.

And now I'd like to introduce you to my husband, Jim Wysong.

Jim Wysong was the second of five boys. Having grown up in a non-religious, lower middle income, dysfunctional, alcoholic family, he knows first hand how the family unit that a person grows up can affect how they see themselves and the world in which they live.

At age 15, when Jim accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior, he began asking questions like "how does a person live this Christian life?" He had no references from which to draw this knowledge from within his family so he asked these question to others in the church he was attending. No one really answered his question, but one answer “you just do it” sticks out in his memory.

Jim, like everyone at times, found himself doing the very thing he did not want to do any more, and like so many, found himself discouraged over it. Not settling for "this is just how I am," he kept asking questions and searching of answers to why people do what they do. What he has discovered over the last 30 years has changed his life and opened a door for anyone who wants to avoid many painful struggles and have a more enjoyable life of their own.

At a friend's suggestion, Jim began writing about what he had discovered, the result is a book entitled The Neutering of the American Male (NAM). If you would like to understand yourself, others and what drives people to do what they do. You will find this is a book you have been waiting for. Both Christian and non-Christian are affected by the elements that are explored and explained within its pages.

Jim enjoys writing, speaking and equipping others so they too can free themselves from what has been holding them back. Jim, his wife, Patty and their five children live in Illinois. If you would be interested in having him speak to your group, you can contact him through his web page.

You can find Jim online at JimWysong.com
TheNeuteringoftheAmericanMale.com
and on Facebook.

“Jim
The Neutering of the American Male

Over the last hundred years many changes have taken place that have altered how men and women related to each other. Those are often felt, but not seen clearly, or understood, which makes them difficult to remedy. As a result, confusion, frustration, and aggravation reign in the lives of many. And those raise questions that seem impossible to answer.

As a young man Jim Wysong had questions that appeared to have no answers. For over thirty years he has been seeking the answers to those questions. Contained within these pages are insights into aspects of the human experience that are easily missed.

Men and women are complex beings. Jim addresses the the key aspects that exist with both men and women and explains how those elements inter-relate and influence each other.

This book's insights can assist you in understanding yourself and others in a way that you never thought possible.

What others are saying about The Neutering of the American Male:
Family dynamics can be confusing. Jim Wysong’s book provides clear understandings for both men and women. After reading it, for the first time in my life, I understand what has been happening in my family for several generations.

This is a much needed book, which I highly recommend to everyone.

—Sunny Loomis

Jim has written a book that can help with issues that are hindering relationships in many families today. For those who are struggling or frustrated with the ability to understand their identity within a relationship, this book offers insights, as well as practical advice, for men and women who want to see their lives and relationships changed.
—Donna G

If you work with other people (and who doesn't) and desire a better understanding of yourself and them, this is a must read. Or, if you just desire a richer, fuller life with richer, fuller relationships, this will be a valuable tool.

The last thirteen years of my work experience I was involved with recruiting, screening and training people who would become missionaries to be sent to various countries around the world. In doing this work I was required to understand people, their strengths and their weaknesses, and how they could become part of a team that was being assembled or had existed for some period of time.

In doing this work there was always need for material to give to those who needed to make changes in their lives before we could agree to hire them. Also, because we worked with many young adults, there was need for in-depth training in order to help our prospective missionaries understand people and how to work with them in a multitude of circumstances including cross cultural situations.

If The Neutering of the American Male had been available for me to use in the work as stated above, my job would have been easier and more complete. The human experience is complex and difficult to understand and especially so when we consider how people interact in the home and work environments. Jim Wysong's in-depth understanding and unique explanations of human nature would have assisted me and will assist many in improving their lives and relationships.

Happy reading!

—D. Sargent

Jim Wysong’s book raises intriguing and provoking questions concerning the nature of relationships today and the effect of social mores upon those relationships. Sociologists should look at Wysong’s book as a challenge to investigate and research his theories, whether they wish to prove him right or wrong, because he presents a new perspective on relationships from those within small family units to large community and work environments.

This book will definitely make you examine your role in relationships today.

—R. Whittington, Attorney








The Neutering of the American Male Selected Excerpts


Jim is giving away a copy of The Neutering of the American Male. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Reviews from the Heart gave The Neutering of the American Male
5 stars. Check it out her review here.

Anyone who buys The Neutering of the American Male here or through Jim's website will receive a FREE Personality Temperament Assessment which correlates with the information in the book and FREE shipping.



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